I was reminded the other day, when I had a meeting with a seasoned communications professional, where we talked about what great people with a background in communications have to offer a startup board of directors.
The answer is: More than you would think.
Because aside from offering advice and help out on the PR and communication strategy and associated activities, what they can also help do is reimagine the entire mission of the company.
Now, why would you ever want to do that, you may ask?
When you start out you may have a rather narrow mission in mind. You’re pretty set on the problem, you’re looking to solve, and who you’re solving it for. If you’re good (and lucky) you will have an excellent North Star guiding the first part of your startup journey.
But what happens when you have got that first product in market, and you have started seeing some traction? Do you focus on doubling down and getting even better at delivering your value proposition to that particular client segment, or do you start looking for ways to expand your footprint into new segments?
If you decide on the latter, it will most often take reimagining the vision. If fx you’re a MedTech company looking to serve a particular niche of hospital clinics, you may wonder if you could go direct to consumer – or direct to patient as it would be in this case.
That would entail a new storytelling. A broader vision and mission that can still be tied down to the original purpose behind the company so as not to alienate anyone on the team in process.
Done right this re-crafting of mission or purpose, if you will, could unlock the journey towards new value propositions, new products, new revenues – and new highs for the startup.
And having someone close to the company – eg on the board or an advisory board – with deep experience within communication could be the ideal catalyst for that sort of transformation.